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Archive for July, 2013

So, a guy walks into a soda fountain (does anyone remember what they were??) manned by a genie, and says, “Make me a malted!”  The genie goes, “Poof!  You’re a malted!”  (I’m told that’s part of an ancient  – he died 47 years ago – Lenny Bruce routine, but I don’t believe I ever listened to his records.)

That’s not how Christianity works.  Saying you’re a Christian (“Well, I’m not a Jew or a Muslim!”) doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage and saying, “I’m a car, I’m a car, I’m a car,” makes you a car.  It’s not about church attendance either.  Standing in your garage doesn’t make you a car, either.

This conversation started when I watched a short video about a blind beggar and the power of words and wrote the first question, below.

Steve ScottHow do you witness?

Lady Acquaintance Scott – I don’t understand your meaning of “witness” Please explain.

Steve Scott To “Witness Christ” is to share evidence, testimony, of what Jesus has done in your life, with the aim of introducing someone to Him or encouraging another believer. Sometimes, especially in ongoing situations, witnessing occurs by your lifestyle and response to day-to-day situations, the idea being they’ll see Jesus in you.

Lady Acquaintance I’ve had a blessed life with angels that watched over me in times of despair and loneliness. I believe in the existence of souls after death, and testify to this. I’ve been raised to consider others all my life, and attempted to display this in my actions over the years.  I look forward to seeing my family again, and to see Jesus… If this is “Witness to Christ” – then I do.

Lady Acquaintance In regards to sharing my beliefs with others, I do not as a rule. I feel everyone has their own reasons for believing what they do… I recently met a woman a bit younger than me at a restaurant one afternoon, and we sat eating and chatting with each other for several hours. We both felt we had become new friends, and we were very glad we met – Until she mentioned she is Atheist, and told me she will never want me to speak of anything Christian. We had exchanged emails to contact each other infuture, but after having considered what she had said, I felt our friendship could not continue. I choose to tell her how I feel re: this. She told me Ok… I’m sad to find she is without a belief of any kind, but know I would not be comfortable being with her.

Steve Scott Well, the book of Amos (3:3 KJV) says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Once I was a Mason, and they have a rule that one cannot discuss either politics or religion, as they tend toward divisiveness. When I came to know Jesus and what He did for me, and how my life changed afterward (without having to try to change myself), I had to leave that organization since I was prohibited from sharing the good news (gospel) of my conversion.

Lady Acquaintance I understand – My father was a Mason, and proud to be one, but in later years, he was not as active. I regard Masonry as a Social order of men, that has existed for hundreds of years and for the benefit of others. My father had never discussed religion, but he was always a Christian – and had once said, if he attended a Church – the Cornerstone would likely crumble on him! (He had a sense of humor all his own.)

Steve Scott Many people are familiar with a statement made by Karl Marx (I am neither a follower nor a fan), that “religion is the opium of the people,” but they know little of the rest of the quotation, part of which reads that he considered religion the “illusory happiness of the people” as well. I mention this because I do not consider myself “religious,” but to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. To me, religion, as thought of by most folks, is, according to a quote I heard but cannot source, man’s attempt to appease an angry God. If I can do enough good things, follow enough rules, I will dissuade Him from sending me to Hell. Instead, I believe that, being born-again, HE works through me by His grace to subdue my fleshly desires and even when I fall He, through Jesus, forgives my transgressions. The difference between “religion” and being born again is that I have accepted the free gift of Jesus having paid the price for my sin nature. You can hold your tongue over your eyetooth (or perform whatever other religious or socially laudable practice) and the very best you can do will be as “filthy (or menstrous) rags” as Isaiah 64:6 says. As Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). And, as Acts 4:12 says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Lady Acquaintance If, as Karl Marx said “Religion is the opium of the people” it has existed for centuries, and will continue in future – along with the evils that exists in the world. “What was once thought to be bad, is now good today, and what was once good, is now bad.” I’m looking for the “Four Horsemen”…

Male Friend Steve, amen! The leaves Adam and Eve wore was man’s first attempt at “religion.”

Male Friend to Lady Acquaintance, there is nothing new under the sun. And: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
How about that? You don’t wanna call anything that was thought bad good.

Lady Acquaintance Michael – Your passage above is the quote from the Bible. Mine was a recollection of the quote, since I haven’t read the bible for years. Thank you…

Steve Scott You’re a Christian, but you haven’t fed yourself with the Word of God in years?? In every man, there are two dogs fighting (the spirit and the flesh). Which one is going to win? The one you feed the most. God and His Word are one (John 1:1). Why wouldn’t you, as a Christian, crave the Word? (Job 23:12)

Lady Acquaintance This is true Steve, I haven’t attended a church for years. I did go with friends to several church classes to hear their pastor read passages from the Bible, and instruct us in the interpretation of it, as they believe it to be. Until he mentioned he does not believe in the Trinity – then he lost me. I do believe in the Trinity – since I had attended Catholic church with my grandmother as a child, and attending a Catholic service is far more familiar to me. I thanked my friends for inviting me to go with them, but will not attend a church that I’m not comfortable following their beliefs. This includes the Catholic Church also, so remain uncommitted to any of above – but still a Christian.

Male Friend If you haven’t fed yourself the Word, or you haven’t been fed the unadulterated Word from the pulpit–in years–then how can you live by it, seeing you’ve forgotten (presumably) more than half of it? This doesn’t make for a biblical Christian. You’re not really a Christian because you’re not living the Word. Please don’t take this negatively. Just want you to see how subtle a lie like this has developed into thinking you’re a Christian while not living like one. A nice (?) tactic of Satan. A Christian is a doer of the Word… not just a hearer. Takes more than belief to be a Christian, because the devils also believe, and yet, they’re the ones who tremble. And it’s easy to do the Word… because God does the work, not you… but your part is in obedience to the Scriptures: to do the Word is to be one with with it.. That’s why you won’t forget it like you just did here.

Male Friend I used to be backslidden for some years. I know what it’s like to forget the Word. If you forget the Word, you’re actually forgetting Jesus, because Jesus’ other name is the Word of God. So, the way you treat the Word is the way you’re treating Jesus Himself. My return is best exemplified by God’s seemingly endless mercy. That’s why I love God for it.

Lady Acquaintance I understand your thinking of reading the bible thru the years, and I haven’t done this. However, I still do believe that I’m a Christian, since I follow His teachings within me.

As you can see, neither my male friend nor I have been able to make our point with our lady friend.  Did we make it with you?

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The above title is from an article on WTOP.com by RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer. The “Jeff” mentioned below is Jeff Chu, mentioned in the article.

The term “evangelical” is generally accepted to mean Christians who share their faith with others in the hope that those others will come to believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible. “Gay evangelical (Christian)” is an oxymoron, because just like any other sin described in the Bible, those who continue to practice (and encourage others to do so) any of the enumerated sins, to defend themselves instead of repenting of their sins, are not, according to the Bible, entitled to call themselves Christians, but are, in fact, a danger to the rest of the flock and, as wolves, are to be put out to protect the flock. Yes, Jeff, Jesus loves (and loved) you enough to die for your sins. (Yes, like me, you’re a sinner. You’re not a victim.) He also wants you to repent of them. It’s the least you could do in return.

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